Social Media 2017..Oh how its changed!



Are you one of the many employers in 2018 hiring or looking for millennial or remote workers? The boom is here..

person using macbook
Photo by Christina Morillo on

The trend for 2018 and beyond is “outsourcing” of jobs that traditionally or due to modern business needs, are starting to really boom.  Fifteen years ago who would have thought a company needed an I.T department right?

Are you looking for a millennial worker? These tech savvy, social sharers are definantly a bird of a different color. Chances are, they not only think about working remotely, they typically prefer an employer with “flex” hours or remote based opportunities coupled with tons of perks of course! Think you’ll find them on Facebook or with a paper ad? …think again..

So, where should you be courting the new generation and remote workers? According to Flexjobs  millennials are now the “largest generation in today’s workforce” and over 80% cite a work life balance as a major determining factor in considering applying their ‘in demand’ skills to a potential employer. 

Remote work is not only on the increase but according to Global news  jobs like accounting, graphic design, website development, data analysts and executive assistants can not only be done from home base, but typically pay over 50,000.

What company benefits are there? , companies that embrace the remote worker enjoy cost savings, increased production, decreased down time and increased employee satisfaction resulting in less turn over.

How, you may ask, would a company effectively monitor a “remote” employee?  It could be as easy as a simple change of mindset and ditching those outdated labels (from “employee” to “partner” ) and some boil down to basic prevention -old fashioned screening (to avoid those who won’t fit with your goals or communication styles) 

Cross Concept Continuum
Professional Services Automation

How to do this effectively? Upfront transparency in how monitoring tools will be used and why, coupled with  consistant communication, setting a solid work example yourself, claryfying expectations in the beginning and setting very clear measurable goals are key!

Utilize helpful tools like instant inter office messeging systems, regular Skype chats or cost effective Professional Service Automation systems like Cross Concept  that can provide real time management and gives all your departments a single source to view and utilize.

What type of benefits can my company even offer to increase and improve our talent pool and attract the millenials to our business?

This younger generation are quite vocal about their freedom, sharing their life experiences , ditching their student debts quickly and ensuring their health and comfort are at the top of their professional and personal lists. 

A paid gym membership in their area, a set payment to a student debt (say for every year worked) and flexible or remote options can go miles with this generation…who tell 2 friends..who tell 2 friends..tweet ..tweet:)

Were can I find remote workers who are looking? 

Thankfully with sites like∼ We work remotely, Flexjobs,, The Muse, Upwork and Indeed this makes the search faster.

Know someone looking for remote work?, perhaps a marketing professional, a website developer, a graphic designer, a writer?..the choices are almost endless ,  look no further than companies like Buffer, Base Camp, Flex jobs, Fire Engine Red and Lullabot.

Are their any red flags I should look for when hiring remotely or online? Business insider says to look for:

  • unverifiable work or references (AKA no “cv”)
  • poor communication styles

( throwing out some lingo (or too much slang) in a text with misspelled words)

  • Taking far too long to return a call or email

(this one goes both ways)

  • abruptly leaving other contracts behind
  • disinterest in learning about your company at all

These are all pretty good indicators that you could be setting yourself and your company up for some major headaches when the rubber hits the road.

As a remote based marketing business we can’t be more in agreement with the business insider’s tip of always (and we mean ALWAYS) Skype or at the bare minimum conduct a specific and detailed phone call before even thinking about what they can do. We recommend this for any remote contractors as a rule of thumb as well.

Every single time you ask? Yes!!! . Even if their resume says they can build a rocket ship that works from popsicle sticks!. This skill set won’t help you or your company if even the basics of office communication , mutual respect and office processes can’t be followed.

What a world of opportunity we all have to look forward to! . Growing pains being what they are and the expected push back on workplace ‘mind shifts’ aside . At the end of the day what an amazing opportunity to expand our business horizon’s , bottom lines and encourage and embrace the new world of work life balance!

Viva la difference! We got this!


Article researched and written by Debra J Stark of

Stark Enterprise Marketing







Why should your company hire a remote or freelance social media provider..why DO we have to work remotely? (part 2)

enterpriseonthesideWhy? why work remotely you ask? Why fight our way in for:

“Double Standards ..Served fresh daily!”– diving into that cesspool called office politics (we all have em folks) were often times you are NOT on even ground from day one.

“Business dress only”– forcing down those foul or non-existent frozen lunches to stretch a buck to buy fancy wardrobes- to sit at a desk all day

“Tow” the line?”:  the old “pole position” for a parking spot near the front door (don’t hit snooze today or opportunity will pass you by folks (gonna have to park by the smelly dumpster with the angry looking wild ally cats again)  “Where’s my mace?”

“Where did my highway exit go?”:  white knuckling it in during a blizzard or heatwave and getting “aren’t you 5 minutes late? as a thank you.

“The Twilight Zone is real!:  attending sleep-inducing, unproductive and unfocused “meetings” (you know- the ones where everyone covertly points their fingers at the others to avoid focus on them), where promises are made- then all is swept back in the corner no sooner than the last croissant leaves the box.

“Haters gonna hate!”: silently tolerating toxic, disruptive co-workers or “bosses” (I could write a book on this one)

“You have something on your nose!”:  being exposed to executive mood swings, favoritism & nepotism (“lions and tigers AND Bears-oh my!”)

“All that glitters is not gold”:  (insert eye roll here)- yet another (really?) pretentious holiday office party (or should I say yearly tax write-off:).

The “storyteller”:  “captive” audience anyone? day 4 of the week and once again listening to that same weird inappropriate story that “Mary” tells week after week and year after year. Well, until her presence causes your eyes to glaze over automatically. (“ she comes-everyone look busy!”)

The empty bank account mystery: eating an old frozen dinner because it’s the day before payday (while hoping there’s enough gas to get home)…” oh whats that newest email?” the companies yearly financials just came out-wow THEY are doing great aren’t they?:)

The smell factor: smelling others questionable microwave lunches and heaven only knows what else (I’ve seen some doozies in my day:).

To breeze or not to breeze?:  The “it’s too hot”, “it’s too cold” game.. that never seems to end (“is it hot in here or what?”)

The “breakdown“: Counting down to  “break” for another cup of joe, to keep you from sleep drooling on your keyboard of course!

Tick tock goes the clock: “Wait a tick, wasn’t it 11 am like 3 hours ago!?” -queue more coffee, please!.

“The river flows downward”: The old “permission” to void your bladder,”maybe the boss isn’t looking I’ll run fast!”-Insert the board of directors doing a walk through right-about-now!

“The password never works on Monday” those never-ending computer issues “What?  they’re down again?-common!”

“Kiss and make up” the obligation & peer pressure to join the “gang” after work to fit in-or “kiss up”  (I think 40 hrs a week is enough my own self) and I lost that worry of being popular back in grade 7:)..not to mention I think I’m capable of making my own friends (but thanks:)

“The us and you rule: forever putting up with double standards while keeping silent to see another cheque -to buy some more yummy frozen lunches! .. (see book)

“The buck stops at accounting” -steady paycheque issues- “whaaat? that does NOT look right!” (“hmm hope I have more frozen dinners left”)

Any of this sound familiar? Of course it does! Each and every company has their pro’s and cons, I mention the con’s I was personally happy to be rid of.  I also miss the co-workers who were a joy to be around or the manager who was just the best you’ve ever had, or a big bonus cheque I didn’t have to put back in my business coffers.  However, I realize I can still get those things without a physical presence.

Why you still ask? well, why do all of this when we can sit at our home base or remote offices and be not only more productive for our own clients, tolerate fewer interruptions, work with more dedication and focus, (as this is our bread and butter) in utter and complete comfort while working with clients we know we “mesh” with and usually make what we are worth.

Just some “food for thought” when next posting for in-house Social Media “help”, this limits (severely) your talent base, unnecessarily overpays a new employee (salary/benefits/hr issues/recruitment fees/paid vacations/training/employee expenses/payroll issues/insurance) with your owner or boards hard earned money (yikes!).

This is not an accounting job or face to face sales or service position and needs to be treated and utilized properly and dealt with as the forward type position it truly is. Thirty years ago none of us would think we would ever have need of an “I.T” department right?

But habit dictates some still habitually MUST see an actual “face” or hear a real voice right? Not a problem, they now have free apps for face to face interactions such as Skype, messenger or video calling. Also that irritating desk phone (you know, the ones were we just KNOW we checked our messages but the darn thing is still flashing at us!). Truthfully in an office, I’d say 98% of communication I had with staff and clients (even staff in the next room might I add) was on the phone, that other 2%? (refer to “meeting” above).

To clarify: Social Media takes skill, is time-consuming, research-oriented (if you have an honest skilled social media provider), a labor of love. We fully embrace your customers, staffers and followers. We also have to adapt to each client’s specific business functions and processes (and no 2 have the same I can tell you).

Keeping the communication lines open, getting the best partner for your business, having the most cost-effective and professional services where there’s an abundance of ideas, success, mutual respect and a feeling of a job well done by all is the end goal.

Of course, you should still do your due diligence and make sure your freelancer or remote worker has the skills, references and fits into your culture (to a degree) you still have a business to run of course. This sum of the above will most assuredly result in all parties being the better for it.

Final thought- change is an absolute in business, we all know that. Either we fight the changes or be swept away by them, I prefer to ride these changes for the benefit of all.

Wouldnt you agree?

Social Media Services..Who should you hire?

When seeking new clients there are a few hard and fast rules I now follow. Ads for Social Media “help” which have the following words or statements ring 4 alarm bells for me and include (but aren’t limited to):

“Great opportunity for YOU (brag much?) to get in on the ground floor”
(Translation) =
“We will work you hard for little to no pay”

“University degree”
(translation) =
Looking for someone young with a title we can brag about -but were not allowed to say that out loud”

” What WE are looking for (followed by 1/2 a page of “demands”) with 2 lines of what THEY will do for you
(Translation) =
“We will ride you like a show pony and shoot you if you become lame”

You will work closely with and be accountable for or to”
(Translation) =
“We will micromanage you until you feel the need to yank your hair out by the roots and if you think WE are taking any responsibility for screw ups ..think again!”

and lets not forget my favorite- “Pay will be equal to education and/or experience”
(Translation) =
“We haven’t got a sweet sally clue and will low ball you first time we see an opportunity because we simply haven’t taken the time to bother researching what you actually do and really don’t know what we actually want you to do-don’t you worry though -we’ll make it up as we go along (translation b -way more work than the pay-scale dictates is on route”

Any of this sound familiar? No? To a contractor or freelancer it’s par for the course! We have the “tire kickers” (interested in free work or throw out many idea’s , get your “thoughts” and disappear), the “time wasters” (Gee, I’d LOVE to hear about your services!!). That is until money comes into play (apparently we LOVE to work for cheap or free (ummmm NOT!). Once the perameters are built and explained, the 25% retainer coupled with the mutually beneficial contract BAM, they disappear faster than a magicians handkerchief!

I have since (still a work in progress it seems) learned to weed out bad clients with the above methods (and these are the clients I would have otherwise happily taken on, worked hard for and struggled to keep MY commitments (yes-we have them too!) as I continue to work while chasing them for an invoice every month. I’ve learned that if they can’t commit to a simple retainer (a symbol of mutual trust)  and a small contract they aren’t very serious about growing their business and they certainly arent serious enough to warrant my hard work …next please!

the under communicator client: (save me Universe!)- No communicators do not communicate (you peasant) until THEY are darn good and ready thank you! From us to yourselves NEWSFLASH! YOU know your company best! we do NOT! your company is YOUR baby! We are simply the paid babysitter (at best), you know if your baby likes green beans, is teething or is severely allergic to shellfish..we DON’T …unless you TEll us!.

The “Over communicator” Client”- “let’s meet, let’s meet again, let’s meet again” let’s have hours of phone conversations on a Sunday morning (while staring at my uneaten breakfast). this type of communication wastes OUR time, our OTHER clients time and YOUR time which won’t help you (or us) grow.

The Uncommunicator -when you have little to no communication- this opens that door to that sweet little” baby” we are “babysitting”.  You know– he’s soooo cute, he’s smiling at me, he REALLY looks like he wants a bite of my fish sandwich, and no one TOLD me he cant have it. Whats the harm (picture explosion here).

Let’s get it together folks. Social media is NOT a simple matter of posting some stuff you find online and charging clients outrageous amounts (a MAJOR pet peeve of mine). Your Uncle Joe or cousin Jebb (who’s 14 and online ALL THE TIME!) isn’t your magic bullet for your website building or social media services, at least not successful ones.

Some more (unsolicited advice-if I may)- Please (oh please do NOT)-

Throw your  “social Media to the wind” , what do I mean? Handing your (extremely dog eat dog important) social media or Websites services to an already full time staffer (who I’m pretty sure you hired for OTHER important purposes), is now adding this on as an after thought (good for you-now when they can “get to it” you might have some representation!). Although MUCH MUCH worse is the in house PART Time Social media person (There aren’t enough pages to explain the train wreck that is on route)

So -Bob’s “handling” this on his “spare time” (awesome ! Bob’s overworked and probably scouring the want ads as we speak), Bobs on vacation (at this point you may owe him a fortune in bonuses)  he’s leaving this Friday, Bob and Sue (The part time in house girl -who’s not in on Fridays because that’s her “personal” day ) are the people with the codes and sign ins. guess what? Your biggest client just saw that you created and shared content that benefits their competitor-and they are steamed!..YOUR “client” is now counting down his “importance” to your company, tick tock – you now have 4 hours MAXIMUM to respond to him. You say “nah “George has been with us forever!” .

Well (even sweet good old “George”- after 4 hours- has steamed quite nicely in his juices and figures , “you know what?, I’m sure XYZ (your competitor) might at least be able to answer some questions for me in the “meantime” to “help them out”. (and because everyone plays SOOOO fair in business on the internet), I’m pretty sure that your competitor will not only be able to “help them out” but offer them a great (and most likely MUCH better deal:) Was it worth it? Probably not at this point right?

So , what type of social media person should we be looking for you may ask?  Remote is where this is AT. By hiring in-house you increase your employers costs (by spending their hard earned dollars-yikes!) -You paying these people-Salary/Bonus’s/Training/turnover fee’s/vacation/sign on bonus’s/hr issues and much much more.

You also need a “tell it like it IS , not how I’d like to hear it– gal or guy. (I cant shout this one loud enough) It takes TIME and an enormous amount of energy and interacting  to grow (organically)  “real people” to your social media channels. Anyone who promises you otherwise you need to run like a gun is being shot at you!

There is NO “one size fits all” solution for every client, every single client is unique , their needs are unique,their budgets are unique, their company is unique!  If you have anyone in Social Media or Website building who promises  a “magic bullet” , or a certain amount of “likes’ or “follows”.. 98% of the time is using “bots” (computer programs mimicking real people) or (worse yet) are BUYING audiences (yes it’s true I’m afraid).

They will take your money, show the “numbers” demanded and lo and behold you will not see any REAL (measurable)  increase in your true followers or sales. How could it? A computer program or audience who was never truly interested cannot and are not interested in buying your product or service are they?

Most if not all Social Media Co-ordinators, Managers, bloggers, writers, content creators now go only this route. Why? ..see article 2









Freelancers and Social Media gigs…where are they?

Since beginning my remote social media provider journey Ive learned some hard and fast truths.

  • Like a phonecall or email of ‘interest’ usually turns into either:
  • a later avoidance
  • an attempt at free or cheap services
  • or a job your mostly qualified for but still have lots to learn as you adapt.

The one I think deserves a bit of spotlight on ( as Im seeing an alarming negative trend in my industry) is the ‘Im interested, lets do this! client. ‘Ill call to set up a details meeting soon’, then nothing.

Well- so you know, in between that ‘limbo’ (and still no feedback from the potential client) This lady is researching, power pointing,

creating content and happy to be earning an income from my home base…based on your words & vibe.

Short and sweetly put, business is business and Im working my tail off behind the scenes to promote your company or brand.

Im wide awake, losing sleep and in alot of cases precious family time- thinking up great campaigns and how to get your business or messege to the right people.

Im learning MOST ‘tire thumpers’ are not actually ‘buying’. Which is sales & acting 101 to me.

For every 80 auditions you might get one gig (umm but you still get feedback and answers from your agent or sales manager)

However-revisiting the very very basic “business communication” do’s and dont’s . I won’t be changing my excellent work ethic because of shoddy or lacking communication skills from the other side.

Although I do wonder how these ‘professional’ people can thrive or even stay employed without this basic business skillset?

But, for those potential ‘clients’, in a ‘business’ interaction at the VERY least, get back to the person YOU contacted.

Yes, EVEN freelancers and remote social media service providers! This is a simple professional courtesy!

A quick email a quick call. ‘Hey jeez we dont have the social media budget till the new year..can you reach out again then? Or ‘went to the boss and its a no go for right now”.

Or (better yet) avoid it all by double checking what you can and cannot approve BEFORE reaching out. Saving both sides precious time and resources (wink wink nudge nudge:)

Even hearing a negative leaves room for the company to improve or grow. And most importantly shows the other business you respect them enough to at least respond. A little professional courtesy can go a long way folks!

Would you like a call to buy your product or service and then simply be dismissed without another word? No, I’ll bet you wouldnt.

Why would a fellow business person not want to help out their collegues? Or create mistrust & annoyance for anyone in their business circles by treating them dismissively?

One thing Ive also learned is without repect for others and gratefullness you may be in for a surprise one day.

Today your a decision maker, tomorow you could be a job hunter who needs a helping hand. Change is a gurantee in life and in work.

The point? Its ok to only call and chat, its ok to say you will email or call back later. Whats NOT ok is simply not having the common decency or professional courtesy to actually follow through with a decision of some sort.

Its the equivalent to dating someone, having a deep meaningful evening and getting the dreaded direct to voicemail or no text response the next day.

That is until your pride forces you to develop a thick skin, pull those socks up, hold your head high, know your in the right and move on.

How do I handle it?. Truthfully some days posting a ‘shame list’ is tempting…very very tempting:) but would accomplish nothing.

So a brisk walk or short drive with some motivating music can usually turn this frown upside down:))

That being said, tactically I need to start focusing on the ‘car facts’. Which will lead to tougher questions and rules moving forward on my end.

It places me in a mistrust mindset with all future clients..leaving them holding the bag for the few ‘bad apples’ in the crate.

Ill have to limit my excitement over that invite by that overly flirty date and logically stay home with a good book.

It’s time for this lady to take the ‘used car’ off the road and start shining up her new sports car:)

The open road and creativity awaits!

Stark Enterprise Marketing

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  • Websites with hosting
  • Facebook fan pages with targeted ads
  • Twitter pages with Tweets
  • Instagram, Pinterest
  • Custom Content
  • Blog posts
  • Linkedin growth
  • Online stores
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  • Register your business with Google
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Blog Part 2 of 3 (Special Social Media groups)

His father’s background was being brought up with many siblings and so any perceived weakness was either ignored or not discussed. As I grew up an only child I was heavily focused on and so thought perhaps my own perception was wrong and I was just “over reacting”.

By the time I was ready to go back to work, I had a babysitter. Years later I was told she simply could not handle him but didn’t know how to tell me. It was a daily challenge for her to just keep him safe until one of us got home. He then went to a home- based daycare (this was by far the WORST mistake (in my case) I’ve ever made).

I would get reports from the daycare lady that “he can’t even color what’s wrong with him? or “he acts so weird” “why does he laugh when people are upset?”.  As a mother it took all my power to not mention that perhaps daycare was not her best professional choice:) Perhaps a career in a child free environment was more suited to her, but I digress.

Eventually the 1st day of school came, this after another stint at a public licensed daycare by my work at the time (where I’d be called almost daily). He was either flailing about, hitting, biting or hiding under something. Eventually he simply had his own “special safe spot” to diffuse his meltdowns and not hurt himself or other children.

As one little girl got hurt when he felt that today was a good day to chuck rocks at others:(. My work at the time was giving me slack for missed days (and had no pity for why when it was explained). I figured “well I need to be sure I’m at work to feed this wee fellow” and so the “special space” was agreed upon.

Only for those times they simply could not control him. In case your wondering why I couldn’t just pop over and “control him”. I showed up -often. Even worse, he didn’t seem to “see” me. He stared right through me like I was not there. It was like the meltdown never happened.

Then once he was left alone for a good set of time he seemed to “snap out of it”. He would act like nothing ever happened. He’s banged his head on walls, scraped himself up, had a bloody lip from these fits, taken desks and chucked them across the room and seems oblivious to how it ever even happened.

As many parents of special needs children have shared (from my viewpoint most being male’s) it became a genuine worry that someone would think he was not being treated well at home. It was also a genuine concern (as kid’s can be nasty when no one is looking) that he could be seriously injured by a kid who did not understand him.

As a parent or guardian, it overwhelms your days and nights thinking of this little person’s safety and well being. Then there’s the self blame game “should I have drank more juice when I was pregnant? “Does his birth order have an effect in this?“. I also wondered if the issues I had as a child might have somehow been passed down. It turns out that in most cases a parent or close relative has these issues and it’s highly connected to a genetic component

This struck home when my son’s pediatrician said to me “Debra I’m just wondering from what your telling me of your back round, have you ever been tested yourself? After many sessions with a top notch shrink and a battery of tests, which included looking back at my school records (where almost each report card stated that “Debra is socializing too much and needs to focus”. It turns out I have a very profound and serious case of ADHD and never connected the things I experienced growing up and as an adult with it.

My son’s academic career thus far consisted of  numerous meetings with groups of staff (who sit around you in a large intimidating group and stare at you with pity). They are very quick to tell me his shortcomings and issues, not so quick with solutions.

In my case it got to the point where I simply said “if you don’t have a solution to implement don’t bother with meetings and calls. This then turned into not being told anything at all unless it was severe. 

In between this mess was the worry and constant research trying to figure out if he was affected by Autism or ADHD or both and what the difference was?

What’s best for these kids while at school?. Is medication the answer? Is social training or physiotherapy the answer? I set out to explore this….


(Continued in Part 3 of 3) Special Groups

“Your “Special” groups on Social Media..Your not alone..Part 1 of 4

Another important facet of social media, at least for myself are the groups one can join. You can pick a group for most areas of your life these days.

There’s dating, workspecial interests , hobbies, support, brand loyalty, health, lifestyle groups, your favorite spot to eat, pets, internet services. The list can be endless and really is limited purely by your imagination or lack thereof .

Are all of them necessarily safe and good places? probably not. I myself just joined a freelancer work group on Facebook and saw a post this morning of a young woman asking for a date.

I’m hoping she perhaps thought she was in another group when she sent it out to our group (and yes I most certainly suggested E-harmony once again as is my go to for those awkward posts:)

There are groups one may never know about or want to know about, dark groups of which this writer won’t give any power to by even bringing them up:) There are wacky groups, quirky groups and just plain fearless groups.

For this particular post series I will focus on a special Facebook group for ADHD & ASD that I have gotten great advice, given what I hope has helped and feel does everyone a world of good just to be in. There are highs and lows as you follow other’s experiences, and even as you vote for other’s success you pray for your own at the same time:)

In my case, I have an 8-year-old son , he is a charmer, sweet, smart, handsome boy with a good heart. I also am lucky enough to have two older son’s (18 & 15) who are away at school and am proud of the young men they have become:) A wee momma brag there:)

Getting back to my youngest son. I was 39 years old when he was born, I was warned a pregnancy could affect my health at that age, but figured if the universe sought to bless me with another child who was I to fight it:) He was born at almost 9 pounds, and at one point it was quite scary as childbirth is not always textbook and in my case it almost ended my time here.

Was he worth it? you bet:)  admittedly later when all was finally ok, it occurred to me that if I had not made it, he and my other two son’s would have been left with no mom . Sometimes I think we feel so strongly about something that logic tends to take a step aside as you focus with tunnel vision on a goal.

These back round details are leading to a point. Since birth my son had very bad constipation, I mean so bad it required a doctor’s intervention more than once. As I had two other son’s I was mystified by what ailed him. I changed to soy milk, I changed to rice milk, I tried everything to help. As he started growing, I noticed he didn’t seem to be talking very much. He would simply be unresponsive to stimuli and would just sit like a “statue”. I tried the baby Einstein tv shows, the sesame street shows, reading to him, talking to him, showing him pictures, nothing was working.

I chalked it up to him simply just being “different” then my other son’s . This was one I heard often (and looking back should never have listened to, I should have listened to my gut). When I mentioned his issues to doctors I got “oh well, each child develops differently”. Even when I insisted he was far behind my other two boys at these stages.

At around two he still wasnt saying much of anything and didn’t really walk well until he was about 1 1/2 (my other two son’s were just under one). What worried me the most was that seemingly out of nowhere these massive “spells” came on. By “spells”, I mean just mentioning a change (without days of prior notice and heavy repetition) would result in world war 3!

He still has ongoing bouts of banging into walls, being awkward, telling me this or that hurts, it seems his own body space is foreign to him is the best I can describe it. The one that worries me is he seemingly does not feel pain or at least acknowledge the “real” stuff. (He once had the felt inserts of boots crammed under his feet so long he was limping. When asked why he was limping he said “I don’t know”.

Sleeping through the night? What’s that? I’d get up to use the washroom in the middle of the night and there he would be playing with some toy cars. Get him a toy outside of a car? That wasn’t happening either. He was set on certain foods, certain toys and routine. This could cause a catastrophic meltdown if this path veered in any way. The only sure things in life are death, taxes, uncertainty and constant change. How was this wee fellow to survive it day-to-day? 

These “meltdowns”  eventually came with full-fledged flailing, kicking, hitting, screaming and large bites to whatever he could grasp his teeth on. These literally would tear chunks of skin out of my arm (I was about to be married and had to wear my no sleeve wedding dress with a huge “zombie like” chunk out of my arm) Again my doctor said “well, some kids are just biters”. Looking back perhaps the doctor needed a sample bite to understand the gravity of the situation:)

I also noticed a lot of “self soothing” techniques. In his case it was a curl the top of the ear down almost back in the ear and sucking on his pointer finger. Any excitable behaviour was accompanied by very very rapid rubbing of his pincer fingers (this still happens). When I saw the slight rocking begin I was instantly brought back to a movie I saw way back in the day . It was called son-rise (make sure the tissues are handy). I cannot recommend it enough, and I saw this way before I had children (as a matter of fact I was 10).

At around 3 1/2 I even went so far as to have his hearing checked and all was perfect (it was checked at birth as well and I was told it was fine). In retrospect I was secretly hoping it was as simple as a missed hearing issue. It was easier than accepting what I was starting to suspect. Throughout this time his father was quite adamant that everything was “fine” and I was “making a mountain out of a molehill”.

His father’s background was being brought up with many siblings and so any perceived weakness was either ignored or not discussed. As I grew up an only child I was heavily focused on and so thought perhaps my own perception was wrong and I was just “over reacting”.

By the time I was ready to go back to work, I had a babysitter. Years later I was told she simply could not handle him but didn’t know how to tell me. It was a daily challenge for her to just keep him safe until one of us got home. He then went to a home based daycare, recommended by a male pediatrician who suggested it would help “socialize” him before school started. (this was by far the WORST mistake in my case I’ve ever made).

I would get reports from the daycare lady that “he can’t even color what’s wrong with him? or “he acts so weird” or “why does he laugh when people are upset”. As a mother it took all my power to not mention that perhaps daycare was not her particular foray:) Perhaps a career in a child free environment was more suited to her temperament, but I digress.

Eventually the dreaded 1st day of school came…

continued on blog post 2 of 4


And then we have the never ending scammers (with far too much time on their hands:)

It’s impossible to mention the internet and not “out” the scammers. I had another one just 2 months back, this one pretended to want to be a client , turns out she only wanted someone to route a stolen credit card through.

1st contact was a poorly written text asking “are you the Debra who does everything website?” The second I responded how I could help. Then this gem came through. Here’s the 1st email she/he sent (looks poorly written) but authentic right?

fiona coker <></>
Thu 07-13, 11:35 AM
Hi Again Debra,
You have the said project details below,Let me know how soon this can
be accomplished okay?l have a small scale business which i want to
turn into large scale business now it located in city and the company
is based on importing and exporting of Agriculture products such as
Kola Nut,Gacillia Nut and Cocoa so i need a best of the best layout
design for it. Can you handle that for me ?. so i need you to check
out this site but i need something more perfect than this if its
possible .;. the site would only be
informational, so i need you to give me an estimate based on the site
i gave you to check out, the estimate should include hosting and i
want the same page as the site i gave you to check out and i have a
private project consultant, he has the text content and the logos for
the site.
1. I want the same number of pages with the example site i gave you to
check excluding videos and blogs.
2. I want only English language
3. I don’t have a domain yet but i want the domain name as
4. you will be updating the site for me.
5. i will be proving the images, logos and content for the site.
6. i want the site up and running before ending of next month.
7. My budget is $2000 to $4000
Kindly get back to me with:
(1) an estimate
(2) your cell phone number
(3) And will like to know if you are the owner ??
Thank you
fiona coker <>
Thu 07-13, 4:47 PM

Hello Debra,
Sincerely am in receipt of your email  appreciate your update so
far…,and am very much pleased and impressed with the content coupled
with much transparency and along side a clear procedure,I quite
reckons with the option you have suggested,Though i should have
emailed to check on you earlier on.. but i bet you would agree with me
work is a murderer,i am okay with the estimate and i want to proceed,
so i will be depositing $1500 using My credit card so work can
commence ASAP, i understand the content for this site would be needed
so as for the job to commence so regarding the content i will need a
Little favor from you and the reason i need this favor from you is
because the consultant does not have the facility to charge credit
cards and i also am presently in the hospital for surgery,Clearly am a
lung cancer patient and my surgery is scheduled to be done in few days
time  so i will be glad if you can help me out with this favor,i would
give you my card info’s to charge for $6,500. so $1500 would be a
deposit payment for my website design and the remaining $5,000 you
would help me send it to the project consultant that has the text
content and the logo for my website so once he has the $5,000 he would
send the text content and logo needed for my website to you also the
funds would be sent to him via cash deposit into his account, sending
of funds would be after funds clears into your account and also $50
tip for your stress i sincerely hope you understand  my plight ?

PS:I know you this is not suppose to be done this way but am asking
for this favor as a bound considering sort of business relationship
between us,Plus the fact that help can be rendered by anyone in sort
of mutual business progression,Thanks for your understanding and would
look forward to hearing from you.


Know what this was? Yup, by doing this I would have been on the hook for $3,500. Once this card was reported stolen then my company would have had to refund $3,500 to the credit card company. Not to mention being at the top of Pay pals most wanted BOLO list. (as you can see she’s quick to the “hook” (just like the newest below:)

I wrote back the below because (quite frankly) there’s far to much “just ignore it and move on ” advice flying around. Yes, and that’s great for YOU, how about the next gramma or person who get’s scammed? What if it’s YOUR relative or loved one who get’s scammed because god forbid we “involve” ourselves these days:)

The email response below (is verbatim) true. As you can see any email’s once received are open to my special brand of “tough love”) I had placed an ad to sell some used parts online, his 1st Text said “Good day MATE” (umm Yes he did!)

Here’s the point to point 411 breakdown after the text.

alex dickson <>
(Sept 22nd 11:37 a.m.)

Thanks for your time, please i would like to know more about this
before i proceed on doing anything,When last was it used,how long have
you owned it,and hope it’s still in great Condition?. how much are you
willing to sell..

(Sept 22nd 12:37 a.m-from him.) “I will be going with the first one and let me know the Asking price?”     (Price was on pic in ad btw-I simply wrote back “Sounds good”)

Sept 22nd 1:37 A.M- (his response)

Thanks for the swift response .. i’m okay with the condition and your
price and will like to purchase it. i will be paying you through my
PayPal account because it’s attached to my bank account as have been
burnt many times via online bank transfer/payment and for the
convenience of both parties i have organized with  someone to come
pick it up as soon as we’re through with payment.I want you to know
that i would have come with cash in hand myself and do the necessary
things before concluding on payment but i’m not in the country right
now due to work commitments.Email me your paypal account details like
this below  so that i can transfer the funds at my earliest

In order for me to make the payment I need the following information from you:

PayPal Email address:
Cell Phone No:
Total Amount:


(From me  Sept 22nd 8:16am ) “Sorry we only do cash in person bud”.

Sept 22nd at 10:37 am-his next response)

Hello,thanks so much for getting back to me..I would have loved to pay
the the way you have suggested, but right now am not in the position
of where i can handle cash to someone to pay you on my behalf and i do
not have access to my bank account which is why i have insisted on
paying you withe PayPal because its very safe and fast for me to do
transaction online…you can set an account up wit PayPal by gong to and once you have done that and you send me your detail
i will then be going ahead in making the payment and once the payment
has been made my pick up agent will then come over for the pick up

Sept 22nd 11:37 am

Hello,thanks so much for getting back to me..I would have loved to pay
the the way you have suggested, but right now am not in the position
of where i can handle cash to someone to pay you on my behalf and i do
not have access to my bank account which is why i have insisted on
paying you withe PayPal because its very safe and fast for me to do
transaction online…you can set an account up wit PayPal by gong to and once you have done that and you send me your detail
i will then be going ahead in making the payment and once the payment
has been made my pick up agent will then come over for the pick up
My final response Sept 22nd 12:38 (and gee -wiz havent heard from him/her since:)
I have a thought..and your phone number:) Why not find a moral compass?? I can help.
Please send me a money transfer for 10,000 dollars and once received I will send you some very special energised water.
This special water can cure almost anything..even YOUR condition:)
And to help you even further (whatever your name is..however your ip address is being searched as we speak)..
Here’s a tip for all of your scammer buddies. As I like to be helpful to everyone..not just special people like yourself:)
Tip #1. Your switching your accent or greeting from ‘good day mate” via text  to now sounding like someone has broken your fingers before kind of a dead giveaway:) Keep those accents and stories matched up man! Your losing ‘customers’.  It’s all about consistency these days.
Tip #2. At least have a clue what country you’re scamming from (a fellow from Australia wont be buying some used item in Canada for their car.
Tip#3. Hold off on the desperate plea’s a bit longer. You jumped to the ‘hook’ waaay to fast (I would also just tweek your “bot” auto program a titch MR 37:) . A lot of people are guilty of this one. After all, I myself reeled you in by pretending innocence:)  Lesson there: There’s ALWAYS someone out there smarter so let caution be your guide:)
Tip #5 Maybe google the person b4 commencing the scam. Fyi..I own an internet marketing company providing social media services to businesses.
 In layman terms . I have large audiences of very interested people who are about to check you out. The big tip there. ‘know your audience’ ‘feel the room first’. (May I suggest watching ‘ Oprah’ s Master class ? good tips there)
Crappy broken grammar..I’m born and bred to the English language and through phone typo’s and spell check blunders even have my own grammar issues. May I suggest using those? Broken English is the number 1 way we are alerted to people like yourselves. Your 1st text had me laughing for a full minute:) Felt good to laugh out loud for that:)
Summation- all of the above will now be passed on to all of my business contacts and friends. They will now see and be warned of your super helpful and safe ‘ ideas’. As I must protect their business and family interests as well as my own.
(I will however thank you for the best blogging post idea I’ve had to date though:) This one will be a real page turner. I’ll shoot you a copy?:)
Let me know all your details..Mailing address…credit card number..and phone number (wait a tick..I’ve got that)..and a shipping timeline.
I’m betting on a cure in say 5 to 7 YEARS:)
May you have the type of day you wished for me and many others.
AKA the lady who’s not buying the scam your selling today:)
Of note -the same day on my cellphone the good old 1 855 # for the revenue Canada scammers seemed to pop up pretty fast as well.
I figure they are banding together to get at our hard-earned dollars, it’s only fair to respond in kind. As they say , “imitation is the purest form of flattery” is it not?
Oh , I also made sure that the two above got sent each other’s contact info as they sound like a perfect match, vive l’amour!:)  I’d like to add that PayPal Fraud services was simply spellbound and riveted by my information.
I simply just can’t stop being helpful:) Check…and mate!

Social Media In 2017..My how its Changed!

Looking back I still recall the sound of the high pitched internet connection and the seemingly endless wait to get “online” . What was on there back then ? you might be thinking. As I recall’ not much!

You could type in a search and see maybe four or five companies (total) showing, and those who were there’ probably figured they were taking quite a gamble in this little utilized brand new cyber space frontier. 

Most communication was in “chat” rooms (there were no pictures, no videos, and opinions were far and few in between) although with today’s lack of tact and seemingly endless unfiltered outpouring (whether we like it or not) of everyones personal ..well..everything!, looking back it was a way to dip your foot in, without having to dive right into the pool.

Sometimes I long for the days of actual face to face conversations and doing something purely for fun and discovery! Not to impress people we don’t really know or to market our product or business.

I for one am glad for a few things that the Web & with its phenomenal growth , Social Media has delivered on, now finding a lost relative , a lost love, a missing child, or a wandering pet is almost as easy as clicking a mouse. 

We can also bring attention to law breakers and awareness to others of less than savary characters in an effort to protect others who may be harmed.

Finding a new love, a new pet, a new car, or a needed service has become mainstream and as simple as a few clicks of an iPhone , Android device, Tablet or Desktop. 

On the flipside a few unoticed negative comments on Yelp can now chase potential clients or even business partners & suppliers away, a few negative employer reviews from an ex employee on Glassdoor can turn off both customers & potentially a great employee. Those pictures & videos we now see? They can be manufactured or created by anyone, anywhere for purposes both good & bad. 

Finding that long lost relative might not be the “dream ” you were thinking it would be, and that online love of your life might very well not be “as advertised” on your first meet and greet.

One theme seems to remain constant, both past and present , people need and seek other people, want to feel valued, need stimulation and will always find ways to grow and learn to improve their lives and those they care about.

I for one am looking forward to our next “leap”, may it give us all what we need, without us losing that human touch that makes us all unique and deepen our bonds for the betterment of us all.